Tuesday, 21 August 2012

24. July 19th- Cycling in the sunshine.

We had breakfast at the campsite and packed up in the sunshine- a rare and welcome luxury. An added bonus is that there were benches near the tents. It's surprising how much easier packing away is when there are benches around on which to spread ones stuff. - Just thought I'd put that in as a handy hint for all of you who are now inspired to go on a cycling/camping holiday.

We left the site at 9.20 and made good time in getting to the town of Grein- Bruce had to take his shirt off because he was a bit sweaty- hence the expression 'Grein and bare it.' all that is , of course a complete fiction because Bruce is far to cool to get all sweaty - although he did turn sharply into the cafe where we were having an ice cream and tripped over the small wall that he hadn't noticed.

                                               The view on coming into Grein.

   A few shots of Grein, a quintessentially pretty [ pretentious, moi?] Austrian town.

After admiring the architecture and buying new handlebar grips for my bike- the original ones had by now started to fray- we set of for Melk.

Despite his misadventure with the wall Bruce had had the foresight to talk to an elderly Austrian couple who advised us to take the ferry to the other side because the road was far less busy and was also shaded by trees. This proved to be very good advice and we enjoyed riding along our side of the Danube and watching all the cars on the main road which went along the opposite bank.

With it being a sunny day, having what wind there was on our backs, and not having to navigate through any traffic, we covered nearly fifty miles during the day and still got to the campsite at Melk by four o'clock.

The campsite proved to be a disappointment. It was over the road from the area where tourists got off the river cruisers and were then coached into Melk [ all of three quarters of a mile away]. The campsite belonged to the one bar by the river and it was obvious that their attention was on the tourist and not the camping trade.

After the handy tip about benches let me give you another essential camping tip. Unless it is absolutely unavoidable never camp at a site that has only one shower and one flush toilet. The single shower is exasperating but the single toilet is very, very, undesirable- I will say no more.

Due to finally accessing the aforementioned one shower, Bruce was not in his tent when a tremendous thunderstorm and very strong winds swept through the campsite. Fred and I were in our tents and were impressed that they didn't blow away because the winds were so strong and powerful. After all this had died down Bruce emerged from the shower completely oblivious to the dramatic weather.

We ate at the campsite bar, and, in fairness the food wasn't bad, but bars and restaurants where there are very few customers,  take your drinks order and then arrive with your drinks twenty minutes later should have their licenses revoked. Or at least suffer some form of punishment- like giving you your drinks for free perhaps?

Anyway, after forming an orderly queue for the one toilet we then bedded [ sleeping bagged?], down for the night. Probably the last person to use the facilities in not such a good and settled frame of mind as the other two. Again, I will say no more.

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